Friday, January 15, 2010

How do I remove paint from my floor before staining?

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Q. - Hey, thanks for the help. One more question! Can you give any suggestions on stripping the paint and prepping the floor, about 1300 sq.' Thanks again,

Hello Greg,

Important:  Be sure to read all labels on all products, including warnings, before opening and/or using.

 A. - If you can use a power washer it would likely take it off easily since it is peeling already. Otherwise...
   Ensure you have plenty of ventilation and turn off all heat sources and or pilot lights as well as any gas of course. Then use a stiff straw scrub brush on a broom handle (you can purchase one at Concrete Camouflage if you can't find one local, as most places don't carry them) it is very important that you use a stiff straw scrub brush, they are hard to find, but an absolute necessity. I can't stress the importance of the brush enough. Stiff and Straw. Not a straw push broom, a brush.
   Work in sections, working your backwards and out the door.
   Anyway,  pour some Xylene (this is very flammable) or a Good Citrus Type Stripper or even a heavy duty glue remover, onto the concrete and let it sit until the paint is softened, keeping it wet and moving around and redistributing the Xylene or Stripper as needed. Then pour some more Xylene or Stripper on and begin to scrub the paint until it reliquifies completely, adding more if needed (don't walk in it). Then use a painters shield or wide scraper ( a painters shield works best) to scrape the paint into a pile and use a square shovel to scoop it up and place it into a bucket to be carried out. You need to get all the paint up, so after it has dried you can repeat if needed. Again, don't walk in it while it is still wet.
   After you have stripped as much paint as you can, you may still need to lightly sand the floor to complete, depending on how well it came off during stripping. If you do need to sand it, then you can go to a tool/equipment rental store and rent a commercial floor sander, like used on wood floors, or you can use a floor buffing machine with the sanding disks. Then just give a final clean with T.S.P. and water and a final couple rinsings with clean water only. Allow to dry and you should be good to go.
   Pay attention when your mopping it, to see if the water soaks right into the concrete, or if just kinda sits there a while. If it soaks right in, then the stain should also. If the water doesn't soak in and just stands, then you're not through prepping.
I hope this helps.